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Honoring Dallas Cowboys Greats on Veterans Day: A Fan’s Take
With Veterans Day celebrated around the country, the NFL fans can also honor their veterans who served in the U.S. military units. Here is a look at four of the most famous Dallas Cowboys football players to serve in the armed forces.
He is the architect of the Dallas Cowboys and the reason they are an iconic football franchise. Tom Landry served as the team's first head coach and retained that position for the Cowboys' first 27 years. However, before he became a football legend, he served in World War II as part of the U.S. Army Air Corps. He served as a bomber co-pilot and completed numerous missions, including surviving a crash landing in Belgium. When he finished his time in the service, he returned to college and the rest is history.
Eddie LeBaron has the honor of being the first quarterback in Dallas Cowboys history, an expansion pick from heated rival Washington in 1960. Between Dallas and Washington, he was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and is part of the Redskins Ring of Fame. However, before he became a football star, he served in the Korean War as a member of the Marine Corps. He spent nine months in Korea, earned a Purple Heart and gained the nickname "Little General" during his time there.
The Dallas Cowboys drafted Roger Staubach in the 1964 NFL Draft in the 10th Round, a steal in picking up the Heisman Trophy winner. It is clear why they got him so late, though. He still had a military commitment to the Navy and never stepped onto the field for Dallas until 1969. He served one year in Vietnam and the other three in the United States. He resigned from the Navy in 1969, joined the Dallas Cowboys and helped lead them to two Super Bowl victories over his illustrious Hall of Fame career.
Chad Hennings became a popular member of the Dallas Cowboys team in the '90s as a hard working member of their defensive front. Much like Staubach, Dallas took a chance on the Air Force graduate and took him with an 11th Round pick in the 1988 NFL Draft, hoping for future possibilities. Hennings fought in the Gulf War, and when it concluded, had the remaining years of his commitment waived in military budget cuts. He finally joined the Cowboys in 1992 as a 27-year old rookie. He played for nine years with Dallas and was on all three Super Bowl squads.
Author Shawn S. Lealos has followed the Dallas Cowboys since he was a child, his favorite players range from Roger Staubach and Tony Dorsett to the Triplets of the 90s. Through the great years of the '90s and the hard times of the '80s, Shawn never turned his back on America's Team.
Source: Dallas Cowboys website
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